Southland Tales - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Southland Tales Reviews

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Jonathan Crocker
Time Out
December 7, 2007
By the climax, his truly ambitious, truly flawed film finally disappears into the 'time-space rift' (or whatever) to achieve some sort of cosmic transcendence.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 19, 2007
One of the most confusing, ridiculous, pretentious and disastrous cinematic train wrecks I've ever seen.
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 16, 2007
By the time the movie rolls into its third hour, it's exhausted most of its comic energy, leaving you disoriented and unable to remember much of what you just saw.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 16, 2007
Immature, crude, poorly made and a waste of time.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 16, 2007
No amount of reworking could salvage what was a misbegotten and unfunny idea to begin with.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 16, 2007
You can't be both political and incoherent.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 16, 2007
Even if the world Kelly's concocted always seems screamingly incoherent, you have to hand it to him. He's made a movie of our messy times that's too ambitious to settle for merely capturing the mess. It actually is the mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
November 16, 2007
Consequently, I can recommend it to 'enhanced interrogation' practitioners who are tired of waterboarding.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
November 16, 2007
The movie's failure to come together -- indeed to make sense for most of its 144 minutes, each one passing with the speed of molasses -- is a major disappointment.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 16, 2007
A Schwarzeneggerian actor, related to a political dynasty, has been kidnapped, replaced with a double, and -- I give up. A plot synopsis would require that the movie have a plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 15, 2007
Writer/director Richard Kelly misses the mark with this bubbling stew of images and ideas that never quite congeals into a viable film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
November 15, 2007
There's more. Much more, all of it absurd and confusing. That isn't necessarily meant as a complaint.
Read More | Original Score: C-
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 15, 2007
Dizzyingly incoherent and subversively surreal, this sophomore effort from the man who made the great, strange Donnie Darko is certain to have its fans. I'm not going to be one of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 15, 2007
Southland may be ambitious in its genre-defying abandon, sideswiping science fiction, satire, film noir and melodrama along the way, but it's also exasperatingly convoluted, self-amused and politically sophomoric.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 15, 2007
We're plunked down in the middle of an apocalyptic mess. This time the mess is not so much addressed as embodied by the film itself -- but damned if it doesn't roll around in your head a while.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
November 15, 2007
Compared to the seemingly unsalvageable disaster Kelly screened at Cannes, this overcooked folly is a miraculous, Frankensteinian resurrection. Maybe this is grading on a curve, but I'd always rather have an excess of ambition than the opposite.
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
November 15, 2007
Kelly seems to think that to merely mention Fallujah or global warming -- or to name a bank after Karl Rove -- is the same as actually having an opinion about them.
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David Germain
Associated Press
November 14, 2007
With boundless ambition far exceeding his ability to tell a coherent story, Kelly manages only an artistic apocalypse.
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Melissa Anderson
Time Out
November 14, 2007
Southland Tales is one of the smartest, funniest, most audacious -- and most mournful -- films of the year.
Read More | Original Score: 5/6
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
November 14, 2007
Southland Tales contains stuff as uproariously out-there as anything in Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove and as unnervingly subversive as Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
November 14, 2007
As the plot becomes more convoluted and the movie goes haywire, what saves it are its sardonic details.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 14, 2007
Spending $12 and 2 1/2 hours (30 minutes less than the Cannes cut) on something as aggressively bad as Southland Tales is not something I can recommend with a clear conscience.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
November 14, 2007
Southland Tales is a funny, audacious, messy and feverishly inspired look at America and its discontents.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 12, 2007
A colleague recently burbled to me that Southland Tales is "the worst movie of the year," and I could not disagree more. Yes, it's astonishingly bad, but it's far too demented to warrant that ultimate dishonor.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 7, 2007
Southland Tales has a mood unlike anything I've seen: dread that morphs into kitsch and then back again. It's a film that tried my patience, and one I couldn't shake off.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 7, 2007
An example of a sophomore jinx encountered by radically experimental directors after their first effort proved to have more traction with audiences and critics than they had anticipated.
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 6, 2007
In its willful, self-involved eccentricity, Southland Tales is really something else. Kelly's movie may not be entirely coherent, but that's because there's so much it wants to say.